Nick Bromberg

  • Joey Logano sweeps top starting spots at Michigan

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 1 day ago

    Can Joey Logano win from the pole again at Michigan?

    Logano got his second pole of the season Friday during qualifying for Sunday’s race at Michigan. He started first at the track in June and won the race, leading 138 of the race’s 200 laps.

    “I was surprised after the first couple of rounds when we weren’t as fast as the last time we were here,” Logano said about Friday’s three-round qualifying session. “We were eighth going into the final round but great adjustments to find a little bit more speed out of this thing. I was down there waiting and [crew chief Todd Gordon] said, ‘Take it’ So I said, ‘Yeah, I am going to take it.’ So I got pumped up and I had the attitude that we were going to grab it or we were going to crash. It worked out well.”

    Sunday’s race at Michigan will use the same lower-downforce rules tweaks that the Cup Series experimented with at the track in June. The reductions in downforce are expected to be used for the entire 2017 season.

    Here’s how the field will line up behind Logano.

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  • Kasey Kahne: I need to leave if I'm not performing by 2018

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 2 days ago

    Kasey Kahne was blunt when talking about his struggles on Wednesday.

    Kahne’s contract with Hendrick Motorsports runs through 2018 and said that if he’s not competitive by the end of his deal, then it’s time to move on.

    “If I haven’t performed by 2018, I need to leave,” Kahne said via USA Today Sports. “It’s pretty simple. So that will have nothing to do with William Byron or anyone else. If I haven’t performed by then, it’s time to go do something different.”

    Byron, who has won five races in the Camping World Truck Series this season, signed a contract with Hendrick Motorsports last week. He’ll drive in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports in 2017. There’s no place at HMS for him currently with Kahne, Chase Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson occupying the team’s four Sprint Cup cars.

    His last win came in Atlanta in 2014 where he made the Chase with the win. He finished 15th in the standings that season and hasn’t finished in the top 10 in the points standings since his first year at Hendrick when he was fourth.

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  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. out at least two more races; Bowman and Gordon to sub

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 3 days ago

    You won’t be seeing Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a Sprint Cup car until the Richmond race at the earliest.

    Hendrick Motorsports said Wednesday that Earnhardt has not been cleared to resume racing by doctors for at least the next two race weekends. The timeframe includes races at Michigan and Darlington. Junior has missed the previous five races because of a concussion doctors believe was sustained at Michigan in June. Junior didn’t start feeling significant symptoms from the concussion until Kentucky, three races later.

    Alex Bowman, who drove for Junior at New Hampshire in the first race he missed, will drive Sunday at Michigan. Jeff Gordon, who has been Earnhardt Jr.’s primary fill-in driver, will drive at Darlington. Gordon can’t race at Michigan on Sunday because of a prior commitment that would prevent him from being at the track on Friday and Saturday.

    “We know how hard Dale is working to get back,” HMS owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “He’s following what the doctors are saying, to the letter, and doing exactly what he needs to do. Everyone wants to see him in a race car, but his health is first and foremost. We’re behind him.”

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  • Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick capitalizes on misfortune above, moves to No. 1

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 4 days ago

    Welcome to Power Rankings. As always, Power Rankings are far from a scientific formula. In fact, it’s the perfect blend of analytics and bias against your favorite driver. Direct all your complaints to us at happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com and we’ll try to have some fun.

    1. Kevin Harvick (LW: 6): Harvick makes a five-spot leap simply because four of the five drivers ahead of him had major issues throughout the race. Hell, so did Denny Hamlin, but we’ll get to him in a second.

    Harvick didn’t qualify well (22nd), but that can be attributed to the lack of a qualifying run in practice. He had an incredibly fast car in race trim and when he fell back to second place behind Joey Logano with less than 150 laps to go, it simply felt like a matter of time before Harvick was going to get around Logano and set sail.

    This is also a huge boost for the confidence of the No. 4 team. While that may sound crazy, this was a team that was excelling despite mistakes on pit road and other self-inflicted problems. Harvick has been so good that it may be hard to recognize when the team isn’t fully clicking. This is what happens when Harvick and team have a complete race.

    Wow, that race just flew by

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  • Delayed Bristol takeaways: The prep on the lower groove worked

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 5 days ago

    Throughout 2016 we may have way too many quick thoughts for our post-race posts. So consider our Takeaways feature to be the home of our random and sometimes intelligent musings. Sometimes the post may have a theme. Sometimes it may just be a mess of unrelated thoughts. Make sure you tweet us your thoughts after the race or email your post-race rants via the link in the signature line below.

    • We’ve enjoyed the races at Bristol Motor Speedway ever since the track was remodeled and the preferred groove moved up near the wall. But we really enjoyed Saturday/Sunday’s race (won by Kevin Harvick) given Bristol’s work on the bottom groove. In collaboration with NASCAR and the driver’s council, the track added a sticky resin substance on the bottom 18 inches or so of the track to make the bottom groove an option.

    Harvick suggested a similar treatment at Martinsville to allow for a second groove in the corners (which are concrete). That sounds like a hell of an idea. Can you imagine two-groove racing at Martinsville?

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  • Jeff Gordon won't sub if needed for Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Michigan

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 7 days ago

    There’s no official word on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s status for Michigan, but it’s clear that Jeff Gordon won’t be driving in his place if Junior can’t go.

    Gordon told NBC Sports that he wouldn’t be subbing for Junior next weekend if necessary because of a prior commitment. Gordon said he was pretty sure Alex Bowman, who subbed for Junior at New Hampshire while Gordon was on vacation in France, would be the substitute driver if Junior isn’t cleared.

    “I didn’t know I was going to be doing all of this,” Gordon said.

    Junior is still rehabbing from a concussion doctors believe he suffered at Michigan. He raced at Sonoma, Daytona and Kentucky before he started feeling symptoms. He’s missed races at New Hampshire, Indianapolis, Pocono and Watkins Glen.

    Gordon is making his 801st career start Saturday night at Bristol. He qualified 11th. If Junior returns at or after Michigan for Darlington, Bristol could be the final race of Gordon’s career.

    A video posted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@dalejr) on Aug 18, 2016 at 8:52am PDT

  • Carl Edwards wins pole as JGR cars all qualify in top 5

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 8 days ago

    A race after sweeping the pole positions at the Sprint Cup Series’ road courses, Carl Edwards swept the poles at Bristol.

    Edwards turned the fastest lap of Friday’s qualifying session for Saturday night’s race at Bristol for his fifth pole of the season. Edwards won the pole for the Cup race at Watkins Glen two weeks ago and also has won poles at Sonoma and Texas this season.

    His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin qualified second and Kyle Busch qualified third. Matt Kenseth was fifth and Martin Truex Jr., driving for technically-aligned Furniture Row Racing, qualified seventh. It’s a pretty safe bet the Joe Gibbs Racing cars are (unsurprisingly) going to be the cars to beat during Saturday’s race.

    We’ll also see if Saturday night’s race is setting up for domination by Edwards. He led 276 laps at Bristol in the spring as he won his first race of the season. Bristol has changed since then; the track has added a sealer at the bottom of the track along with other modifications to attempt to make the lower groove more competitive. While those changes may impact the type of racing Saturday night, they sure didn’t slow JGR down.

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  • William Byron signs contract with Hendrick, will run Xfinity in 2017

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 9 days ago

    William Byron is moving up to the Xfinity Series in 2017.

    Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday it had signed Byron, the winningest driver in the Camping World Truck Series this season, to a contract. Byron, 18, will drive for JR Motorsports in 2017 in the Xfinity Series.

    “William is a special person and a special talent,” Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “It’s been impressive to watch him come up through the ranks and have success at every level. What he’s already accomplished this season has been remarkable. On top of all his ability, he’s a terrific young man from a great family, and we think he has a very bright future with our organization.”

    Byron currently drives the No. 9 truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He has five wins in 2016; no other driver has more than two. Byron leads the points standings by 37 points over Daniel Hemric. His five wins are a Truck Series rookie record and there are still nine races left in the season.

    His rise through NASCAR is nothing short of meteoric. Byron first started driving in 2012 at 15 and drove the previous two seasons for JR Motorsports’ late-model team.

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  • What auto racing could look like at the Olympics

    Nick Bromberg at Fourth-Place Medal 11 days ago

    If you’re a racing fan, you’ve may have wondered how auto racing could fit in at the Rio Olympics. If equestrian dressage is an Olympic sport, why can’t auto racing be one?

    The Olympics would be the perfect opportunity for fans of different racing disciplines to watch their favorite drivers from series across the world go head-to-head against each other.

    The many different types of racing can make it hard to determine just what discipline has the best drivers in the world. Is it open-wheel? Stock car? Sports cars? While an Olympic auto racing event may not be a true test of who is the best, it would at least serve as a huge platform for bragging rights. And, in our view, would be must-see television.

    This is how we would structure Olympic auto racing.

    Cars: This is perhaps the trickiest aspect of Olympic racing and one that would take the most thought and rules preparation. The cars would need to have characteristics of all the world’s major auto racing series. Simply using Formula 1 cars or stock cars would give the drivers who regularly drive those cars too much of an advantage.

    Tracks: We like a group of four tracks of various types.

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  • Belgian sailor who medaled at London possibly sick from Rio waters

    Nick Bromberg at Fourth-Place Medal 16 days ago

    Medal count | Olympic schedule | Olympic news

    The polluted waters for the open water events at the Rio Olympics may have led to a former Olympic medalist getting sick.

    Evi Van Acker, a bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympics, said she didn’t feel well while competing in the Laser Radial class Wednesday in Guanabara Bay for the Rio Olympics. Her coach said, via the AP,that she became sick during a training exercise in the water before the Olympics.

    “Evi caught a bacteria in early July that causes dysentery,” coach Wil Van Bladel said. “Doctors say this can seriously disrupt energy levels for three months. It became clear yesterday that she lacked energy during tough conditions. She could not use full force for a top condition. … The likelihood that she caught it here during contact with the water is very big.”

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